domino-play How to play...  



This is a variation of the block-type game Matador, played by two players only, using a Double-Six domino set and a score sheet.


The dominoes are shuffled, facedown, then each player draws six tiles that only they can look at.  The remaining dominoes are set aside to form the boneyard and may be drawn upon by players during the course of play.

The lead player, holding the lowest double not including the double-blank, sets it down and then the two players in turn lay tiles onto the open ends of the domino layout with the condition that adjacent ends must total 7. The first double set may be played on all four open ends, allowing play to branch four ways, and is known as the spinner. Any subsequent doubles played are played inline and not as spinners.

There are four special "wild card" tiles, known as "Matadors", that may be played at any time without having to total 7 with the adjacent tile on an end of the layout. These are the three tiles bearing 7 pips on both ends and the double-blank: 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 0-0. A player may play a Matador tile either inline or horizontally at their choice. If played inline, only the open end may be played on. If played horizontally, the next player has the choice of playing a tile on either end.

Should a player be unable to play a tile onto the layout, they must draw one from the boneyard until they can play one, but only when there are more than two tiles left. Once the boneyard is down to two tiles, no more tiles may be drawn. Players also have the choice to draw as many tiles as they like from the boneyard in their turn, even when they hold a playable tile, but with the same rule that there must always be two left.

Once a player has dominoed by setting their last tile, or the game is blocked with no player able to play a tile, the round is over. Both players then score the total number of pips left in their hand. A number of rounds are played as before and the first player to score a total of 100 points is the loser. Should both players go over a total score of 100 points in the same round, then the player with the lowest score is the winner, or if both player's scores are equal after totalling 100 points, then the game is declared a tie.

Player's strategy should be to try and hold tiles bearing two suits that add up to 7, like 5s and 2s. Blank tiles are also good tiles to hold because they can be used to block your opponent from playing on the an end of the layout or force him to play a Matador. Also, be careful not to draw too many tiles from the boneyard because you could be left with a high pip total at the end of a round. 


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